Pros and Cons from a first time Sola Cruiser
Winter of 2017 has treated us well in New York City but I didn't skip out on the opportunity to fly south and take off on my first cruise. As an explorer, I have equally enjoyed the luxury of a five star hotel just as much as a tent without air conditioning during a safari but for some reason a cruise never appealed to me. I was peer pressured by a friend to book six months in advance although I normally don't plan travel that far out due to my work schedule.
I was still reluctant when I purchased the cruise but the ports of call were my final selling point. This Western Caribbean Cruise stopped in Roatan, Honduras along with a stop in Belize and two in Mexico. Roatan has been on my bucket list for some time so I thought this was a great opportunity to visit the island off of Honduras.
Norwegian Cruise Line which is referred to as one of the luxury cruise lines was the company of choice. I soon learned that people don't really reference the cruise line as much as the ship itself (I didn't get this 100% down until after the trip lol). The ship was the Breakaway; a fairly new vessel completed in 2014. The coolest fact I learned about the ship was that is was actually at port in Rio during the 2016 Olympics for 22 days. It made sense that Rio brought in many cruise ships to help with the lodging demand for the summer Olympics. The Cruise was seven days long and left from Miami.
- Day One- At sea
- Day Two- Roatan
- Day Three- Belize (NCL purchased an island off of Belize so don't recall the port name, sorry!),
- Day Four- Costa Maya, Mexico
- Day Five- Cozumel, Mexico
- Day Six- At sea
- Day Seven- Back to Miami
Now for my pros and cons! :-)
1. The opportunity to visit three countries!
If you're tackling some type of 30 before 30 or 40 before 40 country visit list, a cruise is definitely an efficient way to tackle traveling. Honduras and Belize were first for me!
2. The staff was wonderful.
I do not know what how they keep their smiles day in and day out but they certainly made my trip memorable. From the orchestrated shows to our housekeeper Elias, everyone was great.
3. The FOOD!
Yes so cliche as this is what is often mentioned but what can I say it was good! I didn't gain any weight as I ate in moderation but did indulge on dessert twice... maybe three times 🤗 TIP- Look into the specialty restaurants on the ship prior to the trip so that you can plan your evenings. These restaurants tend to sell out so feel free to purchase one/two months out. They may cost a little more but they are definitely worth it.
1. Not enough time to explore
The Port Calls were just way too short. If you're one to embrace the local culture by finding neighborhood favorites for food and art then like me you may not find it to be enough time.
2. Small Rooms
We were three in a room in one of the more affordable room types making it tight but we made it work for us. There were three twin beds with one of them being a bunk. It was not absolutely terrible but a little annoying when trying to nap (a pro/con of cruising versus traditional land vacations where I wouldn't have napped as much)
3. Too much lounging
Despite workouts at the ship's gym which was great, a wonderful river tubbing experience in Rio Grande Belize, and Snorkeling around two coral reefs off the coast of Cozumel, I still found there was too much lounging for my liking. The R&R was great for the first full day at sea but by day three I just wanted to do something different. To combat this I could have planned another excursion or just have a shorter trip.